Through the Roof
If you feel like car repair costs have gone through the roof, you’re not alone.
Across the nation, repair costs have been rising steadily for the past decade, increasing 4.1% per year between November 2013 and November 2023, outpacing overall inflation, which rose by 2.8% over the same period, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But what has caused this increase?
A Fleet of Factors
There isn’t just one factor driving up prices.
For one, vehicles have gotten heavier and stronger, which means more damage in the case of a crash. As technology advances, they’re also getting more complex, meaning they may need a wider variety of potentially more complicated repairs. And even increasingly popular lightweight materials like aluminum require replacement.
The pandemic certainly didn’t help the problem. Auto parts supply chains were disrupted, driving up the cost of parts, while employers grappled with a labor shortage.
Before the pandemic, car maintenance costs were rising steadily around 3.5% to 5% annually, according to collision repair software maker Mitchell. But in 2022, the rate spiked sharply to around 10%, and has remained there since. For consumers, this means one more thing to keep in mind when buying a new vehicle.
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